So, the time has come for me to bring an end to my broadcasting days.
After 55-years on the air, I will no longer be announcing football games for Fox Sports, and I leave with exceptional memories of events I covered, the people I worked for AND with, and looking forward to doing more of the same things I have been doing.
It will really not involve a significant adjustment. It will simply mean I now have a clean slate to do the things I like doing, without a work schedule to think about.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved doing games. In all sports. Actually, I never worked a day in my life. You may wonder, why would I give that up? Yes, it’s been fun.
Physically I believe I could go on another five years.
But it’s not about that.
The truth is, I don’t NEED to do anymore broadcasts.
I have always said, broadcasting is what I do, it’s not who I am.
I’m at the time of my life, that I want to enjoy other things, with the person I want to do them with. My wife Jamie.
Pictured with my wife, Jamie, while celebrating at Cafe Maxx in Pompano Beach, Florida.
“A day to remember full of memories as Jamie and I begin our next chapter.”
We like to travel, especially to Europe. I know it’s closed right now, but eventually it’ll open and we’ll be on the first flight out.
We like to play golf, and one of these days, she’ll let me play tennis with her.
I’m working hard to reach that goal. I’ll have to earn the right to take the court with someone who is superior.
I really haven’t traveled in the fall in over 50 years. That’s a long time.
That will change.
I also never get bored. I love to read. The best-selling author Michael Connelly, who I got to know, texted his congratulations. He said he needed to retire himself so he could work on his golf game.
I told him he couldn’t. That I would need his books more than ever.
I never miss a day of playing chess on my i-pad.
I can make the games as tough or as easy as I prefer.
I learned to play the piano in my senior year at Syracuse. I learned how to play using chords that made it easier to learn. I can’t play without reading music, so I have about a thousand selections. They are mostly standards and show tunes.
I sing as well. I have joked that when I play and sing, and there’s a glass at the end of the piano, Jamie usually leaves $1. Hopefully now I’ll get $5 or more.
Basically, that’s a profile of what I have been doing and will now do more.
Looking back over my years on the air, I am staggered by the number of games I have broadcast in so many sports, the great moments I’ve called, and the sheer volume of what I have accomplished.
Calling Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run in the 12th inning of game six of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Reds ranks number one without question.
Being at the microphone for every Celtics-Lakers NBA Final during the 80’s on CBS, as well as the nine years working the Finals ranks right behind the Fisk home run.
Describing Dan Jansen’s record-breaking gold medal victory in speedskating at the 1994 Olympics in Norway was monumental, as was working with the sensational five-gold medal winning Eric Heiden in the booth.
Hosting the remarkable upset by Villanova over Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA Championship game at Rupp Arena was unforgettable.
The iconic Brent Musburger called that classic, and when it ended, he sent it to me as the host, and I declared, “that’s why they play the game”.
It’s been my mantra for every unexpected result in any sport.
I have been blessed to call games in all for major professional sports, including hockey. Yes, teamed with the 1980 Olympic hero, Mike Eruzione, I broadcast two NHL games during the time FOX Sports had the TV rights.
A word about those who employed me.
I have been fortunate. Treated well by CBS Sports, where I worked, part-time and full-time from 1967-1974, and again from 1978-1994, the Red Sox and WSBK from 1975-1978, Turner Sports for over a decade, and Fox Sports, the past 27 years, it has been a dream. That includes the TV stations I worked for doing the sports segments on the nightly local news. KYW-TV in Philly, KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, and WBZ-TV in Boston.
Let’s not forget HBO where I did many events, mostly basketball and including bowling in the 1970’s.
I would say my time with Fox has been the most rewarding. The loyalty and support has been unmatched, as well as the freedom to cover the games the way I saw them.
And you can never forget the producers, directors and the behind-the-scenes crew that make the announcers look good.
I’m often asked about the phenomenal athletes I’ve covered over a half-century.
They are many and I can’t begin to list them. You can probably guess who some of them are.
But what I take away more than anything, are the partners I’ve had announcing these sports. Partners in the booth, who were tremendous stars in their time.
Partners such as Staubach, Dierdorf, Stram, Madden, Fouts, Olsen, Millen, Aikman, Johnston, Lynch, Spielman, Barber, Billick, Mora Jr, McNabb, Schlereth, Quinn, Davis, Diehl, Vilma, and Jennings.
That’s just football.
How about Russell, Heinsohn, Cunningham, Brown, Raftery, Packer, and so many others in basketball.
Harrelson, McCarver, Kaat, Brenly, Smoltz, Darling, Karros, and so many others.
I know I have left out a bunch.
The memories of working with them are indelible.
And finally, my premier satisfaction. Not in the number of games I’ve worked, or the significance the events themselves.
I always thought of the guy who toiled at a job during the week and looked forward to the evenings, or to the weekends when he could relax, sit back, enjoy a beer, and pizza, and watch a game.
If I could enhance that experience for him, not get in the way of the game, and do just a small part in adding to his time in front of the television, I was doing my job.
It didn’t matter who was playing, or what the stakes were.
You see, that’s how it was for me growing up (minus the beer, perhaps), and that’s how I wanted it to be for my audience.
It’s been a fabulous run, and to you, the readers, I will, of course, continue with my views on the world of sports, and other things.
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A note from Stockton Communications: Dick Stockton will remain active in speaking engagements. Dick speaks at special events such as luncheons, corporate meetings, (including Zoom conference calls), acts as a master of ceremonies, and other events. He also provides clients with voice-overs for video, radio and television commercials. Call today to book your next event or refer a friend!